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View Full Version : Kamaka longneck uke owners - talk to me!



janeray1940
03-06-2012, 08:30 AM
As I posted yesterday, I'm starting to think about another uke (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?61577-ukes-with-gt-16-frets-recommendations). I'm looking for something with 17-18 frets.

I'm starting to accept the fact that a tenor Kamaka, which I thought would be next, just isn't right for my little hands. There are some stretches I can barely do on my Kamaka concert ukes, so it's a little ridiculous to even consider it.

So - I'm back to thinking about those longneck Kamaka sopranos. I asked a while back about opinions on the LP-1 pineapple (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?37878-ever-see-a-Kamaka-HP1-L-long-neck-pineapple) and got more negative than positive feedback (some of it was PM'd so as not to badmouth Kamaka). But I know there have been a few longneck Kamaka purchases here recently, so I thought I'd ask again.

So - talk to me, longneck Kamaka people! Tell me everything, good, bad, and ugly.

PedalFreak
03-06-2012, 08:37 AM
Negative about the Long Neck Pineapple??? I played it at NAMM and thought it was an amazing uke! Great sound! I loved all the Long necks I played at NAMM. Had the long neck concert and soprano not have been sold already I would have bought one of them.

I liked the Long neck soprano b/c it had the soprano size with more room, which I need. I have a hard time playing a standard soprano. I loved the Long Neck Concert. Like my Tenor in feel with a smaller body, which gave it a little more of a "focused" sound, not as big, but it was a great uke

janeray1940
03-06-2012, 08:41 AM
Negative about the Long Neck Pineapple??? I played it at NAMM and thought it was an amazing uke! Great sound! I loved all the Long necks I played at NAMM. Had the long neck concert and soprano not have been sold already I would have bought one of them.

I liked the Long neck soprano b/c it had the soprano size with more room, which I need. I have a hard time playing a standard soprano. I loved the Long Neck Concert. Like my Tenor in feel with a smaller body, which gave it a little more of a "focused" sound, not as big, but it was a great uke

Thanks, I'd already forgotten that the longnecks were at NAMM. I'm wondering if maybe Kamaka has improved them since I last asked around about this in 2010. I really did hear some not-great things about intonation issues. A few months later I played a longneck Kamaka concert and thought it was quite nice.

Any idea if the fretboard on the longneck sopranos a concert scale, or is it somewhere in between soprano and concert? I have some difficulty playing soprano fretboards high up the neck, so a little more room might be a good thing.

Steedy
03-06-2012, 08:50 AM
I purchased a Kamaka Concert Long Neck (HF-2L) (http://www.theukulelesite.com/kamaka-standard-long-neck-hf-1l-557.html) recently, which is like the HF-2 except with 14 frets to the body instead of 12, and geared tuners instead of friction. That should provide more room up the neck, in a familiar Concert size. Since you've already played one, you know what I mean.

janeray1940
03-06-2012, 08:55 AM
I purchased a Kamaka Concert Long Neck (HF-2L) (http://www.theukulelesite.com/kamaka-standard-long-neck-hf-1l-557.html) recently, which is like the HF-2 except with 14 frets to the body instead of 12, and geared tuners instead of friction. That should provide more room up the neck, in a familiar Concert size.

That's exactly what I'm hoping to accomplish - something with a 14-fret join - but in a smaller size.

imabuddha
03-06-2012, 08:56 AM
Actually the longneck Kamaka pineapple I recently bought was the one on display at the NAMM show. :)

It was one of the other ukes "snagged" by MGM for HMS. Intonation was one of my concerns on a uke this pricey so I asked MGM & Andrew about it before buying & was told it was excellent, and indeed it is! Pitches are spot-on across all strings up & down the fretboard.

I measured the scale length & it's exactly 15", so standard concert length. The distance between frets near the end of the neck is quite small. My fingers are medium/long, and while I can make clear tones there it's not easy. (but I'm a uke newbie) I really think the Ohta san scale neck might be right for you given your playing style & finger length.

This is my first "serious" uke, and I'm very happy with the tone & playability. The wood on this one is very nice too. ;)

PS the longneck pineapple is also joined at the 14th fret.

janeray1940
03-06-2012, 09:02 AM
Actually the longneck Kamaka pineapple I recently bought was the one on display at the NAMM show. :)

It was one of the other ukes "snagged" by MGM for HMS. Intonation was one of my concerns on a uke this pricey so I asked MGM & Andrew about it before buying & was told it was excellent, and indeed it is! Pitches are spot-on across all strings up & down the fretboard.

I measured the scale length & it's exactly 15", so standard concert length. The distance between frets near the end of the neck is quite small. My fingers are medium/long, and while I can make clear tones there it's not easy. (but I'm a uke newbie) I really think the Ohta san scale neck might be right for you given your playing style & finger length.

This is my first "serious" uke, and I'm very happy with the tone & playability. The wood on this one is very nice too. ;)

PS the longneck pineapple is also joined at the 14th fret.

I'm actually starting to think I should just go for the longneck pineapple, since I love my standard pineapple so, so much. I'm a little concerned that the Ohta-san will be too much uke!

Yours sounds amazing - what a fantastic first serious uke :)

imabuddha
03-06-2012, 09:11 AM
I'm actually starting to think I should just go for the longneck pineapple, since I love my standard pineapple so, so much. I'm a little concerned that the Ohta-san will be too much uke!

Yours sounds amazing - what a fantastic first serious uke :)
The Ohta-san would be sweet. I'm not crazy about purfling, although Kamaka's new 3 color rope does look good in the NAMM pics. I also don't think binding makes a uke with master-grade koa look better. The longneck pineapple at less than half the price (without that deluxe bling) almost seems like a bargin.

It took me a couple of weeks to finally decide to buy this uke, mainly because of the price. I loved it at first sight, but my budget was more towards the KoAloha level. HMS has their longneck in stock too, but the wood on it just didn't grab me.

Someday I'd like to get a ukulele from KoAloha too, they're such great people. Maybe a pineapple sunday…

Doc_J
03-06-2012, 09:21 AM
Did you check HMS videos of both long necks (stand and pineapple)?
vimeo.com/user4573115/videos/search:kamaka longneck/sort:alphabetic

janeray1940
03-06-2012, 09:23 AM
Did you check HMS videos of both long necks (stand and pineapple)?
vimeo.com/user4573115/videos/search:kamaka longneck/sort:alphabetic

That was really helpful - thanks for the link! I love it that he demonstrated playing high up the neck and not just strumming.

mm stan
03-06-2012, 09:34 AM
Aloha The Devine Miss M,
he he...When you change the scale of a uke...it is better to tune it in alternative tuning, at least for me... ie try it in a half step up....and see if it works..
or down tune it...B, B# you need to play around and find the right tuning for the uke...good luck...:)

janeray1940
03-06-2012, 09:37 AM
Aloha Miss M,
he he...When you change the scale of a uke...it is better to tune it in alternative tuning, at least for me... ie try it in a half step up....and see if it works..
or down tune it...B, B# you need to play around and find the right tuning for the uke...good luck...:)

Oh Stan that's getting too fancy for me! I'd have to learn everything all over again for a different key! :)

imabuddha
03-06-2012, 09:40 AM
It sounds better with Fremont blacklines too. :) I decided on those based on Andrew's recommendation. The day after it was shipped I heard their string comparison blind test & picked the blacklines too. :D

I also have a set of Worth browns to try next.

mm stan
03-06-2012, 09:40 AM
yes some songs you can get away with it ....many not....nothing wrong with learning...he he

janeray1940
03-06-2012, 09:42 AM
It sounds better with Fremont blacklines too. :) I decided on those based on Andrew's recommendation. The day after it was shipped I heard their string comparison blind test & picked the blacklines too. :D

I also have a set of Worth browns to try next.

I had Fremont Blacklines on my pineapple and LOVED them, until I encountered Martin M600 Fluorocarbons, which I love even more (and they're cheaper and easier to find). I've never tried Worth Browns... I've got Worth CMs on my low G and they are fantastic.

PedalFreak
03-06-2012, 09:48 AM
Actually the longneck Kamaka pineapple I recently bought was the one on display at the NAMM show. :)

See, I told you guys that was a great uke :D I had fun playing that at NAMM.

The long necks are all a longer scale. So the HF1L is 15", HF2L is 17", HF3L is 19". All join at the 14th fret. You may want to go with the Pineapple or Soprano Long necks if you are wanting to stay in the Concert scale length.

imabuddha
03-06-2012, 09:48 AM
I had Fremont Blacklines on my pineapple and LOVED them, until I encountered Martin M600 Fluorocarbons, which I love even more (and they're cheaper and easier to find).
Interesting! I'll have to try those after the Worths then. If anything makes this uke even better to play I may never sleep. :D

imabuddha
03-06-2012, 09:51 AM
The long necks are all a longer scale. So the HF1L is 15", HF2L is 17", HF3L is 19".

The Ohta-san really is the odd duck then. I won't be in the market for a new uke for quite a while, but when I am the Ohta-san is on my short list.

quiltingshirley
03-06-2012, 09:55 AM
I was at the factory a couple of weeks ago trying to find something that was between my Kamaka pineapple and my Pineapple Sunday. What worked best for me was the Concert longneck. Easy to play and sounded great. Of course than you have to decide what wood, tuners, etc. They had a "used" custom longneck concert that was perfect but way over my budget. I ended up going back to the ship with what I already have. If I had the exrra money, it would have been that custom job.

janeray1940
03-06-2012, 09:57 AM
You may want to go with the Pineapple or Soprano Long necks if you are wanting to stay in the Concert scale length.

This sounds like good advice, thank you :)

I think I'm realistically down to three contenders here:

Kamaka longneck pineapple
Kamaka longneck figure-8
Koaloha longneck pineapple

I only wish it was possible to do a side by side comparison of all three! Or hey, even better, to just say "What the heck, I'll take one of each!" :)

janeray1940
03-06-2012, 09:58 AM
Interesting! I'll have to try those after the Worths then. If anything makes this uke even better to play I may never sleep. :D

I know the feeling! I often make the "sleep? or play the Kamaka pineapple a while longer?" decision.

Steedy
03-06-2012, 11:22 AM
Oh man, I'd love to have a Kamaka Pineapple or Soprano, but I'm a little scared of friction tuners. Do y'all have any issues with the friction tuners on your Kamaka ukes?

imabuddha
03-06-2012, 11:28 AM
Oh man, I'd love to have a Kamaka Pineapple or Soprano, but I'm a little scared of friction tuners. Do y'all have any issues with the friction tuners on your Kamaka ukes?
No problems with mine. I actually find them easier to use than the geared tuners on my Kala KA-P. I like the look of friction tuners too. ;)

It would be cool if Kamaka offered pegheads as an option. Anyone know if pegheads come in a size that's a "drop in" replacement for Kamakas? I think a set with koa buttons would be nice…

Steedy
03-06-2012, 11:31 AM
Mahalos, Brudda Buddha. :)

janeray1940
03-06-2012, 12:09 PM
No problems with mine. I actually find them easier to use than the geared tuners on my Kala KA-P. I like the look of friction tuners too. ;)

I find them easier to use as well - I hate geared tuners and actually thought about swapping the ones on my Kiwaya out to friction tuners.

OldePhart
03-06-2012, 12:33 PM
Oh man, I'd love to have a Kamaka Pineapple or Soprano, but I'm a little scared of friction tuners. Do y'all have any issues with the friction tuners on your Kamaka ukes?

After a little time to get used to them most people (self included) seem to come to the conclusion that they are no less accurate and actually more convenient than geared tuners. I hate changing and breaking in strings on my ukes with geared tuners while it's no big deal at all on the ukes with friction tuners.

I think it's the cheap friction tuners on some entry level ukes that scare people off. Those can be just plain terrible.

John

Steedy
03-06-2012, 01:12 PM
Sounds good, thanks John!

foxfair
03-06-2012, 01:21 PM
Long neck concert custom is on the way, so I am not going to give opinion now. But I can tell you why I ordered: I want a concert body but play on tenor-like neck. This is pre-NAMM order last year, so Kamaka asked me if I want to cancel it and wait for deluxe models reproduction in Apr. I said nope. And it gives me another reason to buy a ohta-san or long neck deluxe pineapple next time!
I plan to tune it in Bb or a full scale down, string choice... hmm tough call, haven't decided yet.

Gillian
03-06-2012, 01:52 PM
I sampled the Kamaka longneck soprano, longneck concert and standard tenor and thought the longneck concert sounded the best of the three, so I bought it. The koa was beautiful, it has geared tuners and the unique headstock that says "I'm a Kamaka concert ukulele!".

If you can overlook the bad singing, I did a video of me covering "Sail Away" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2Y_itDpWHE) where I play my longneck concert. I replaced the Kamaka strings with Martins.

janeray1940
03-06-2012, 01:57 PM
I sampled the Kamaka longneck soprano, longneck concert and standard tenor and thought the longneck concert sounded the best of the three, so I bought it. The koa was beautiful, it has geared tuners and the unique headstock that says "I'm a Kamaka concert ukulele!".

If you can overlook the bad singing, I did a video of me covering "Sail Away" (http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2Y_itDpWHE) where I play my longneck concert. I replaced the Kamaka strings with Martins.

Hey, I'm not a singer at all, so I give a big thumbs-up to anybody who does it! I thought it was quite nice, and the uke sounds great!

I love the Kamaka concert headstock too - I wish that shape was an option on the soprano longnecks.

imabuddha
03-06-2012, 03:18 PM
I love the Kamaka concert headstock too - I wish that shape was an option on the soprano longnecks.

Totally! I bet Kamaka would do that for a special order since the soprano longneck is the same scale.

dsummers
03-06-2012, 03:32 PM
I think I mentioned to you in the past that I have a long neck Kamaka pineapple, ebony fretboard, bridge, headstock and spruce top with factory pu and it is absolutely one of my favorites! I also have a Kamaka tenor with the same specs low G and love it!

janeray1940
04-14-2015, 09:00 AM
Well... it's been a few years since I started this topic, but FINALLY it looks like I'll be the owner of a Kamaka HF-1L longneck later this week. Surprisingly, NOT the pineapple I'd been hoping for, but a figure-8, which I think will round out my little Kamaka collection nicely.

I spent the better part of this past weekend playing it, and I have a few first impressions. The sound is really its own thing - it has the sweet bell-like sound of a soprano but has considerably better projection and sustain than the HF-1 soprano that I used to own. It doesn't sound like my HF-2 concert either - it's sort of the best of both, in my opinion.

The longneck soprano is a concert neck on a soprano body. It has a 14 fret join, which makes it a lot easier to play high up the neck, and the higher notes sound much better on this uke than on either my HP-1 pineapple or my HF-2 concert, both of which have the standard 12-fret join.

Oh, and - Gotoh UPTs! Which I really should get around to retrofitting my other two with; maybe this will be the kick in the pants I need to actually do it.

More later, when this becomes a reality...